Spring in the Garden

Spring in the Garden

Monday, 11 March 2013

Spring Chickens

We decided to buy a couple more chickens last weekend as we're only getting one good egg from our other two at the moment. Fudge hardly ever lays an egg with a decent shell, so it is being eaten before we can get to it.

We've tried giving her extra oyster shell, but that hasn't worked.  I'm wondering if it could be due to a combination of lack of sunshine and her dark feathers not allowing her to make enough vitamin D to absorb the calcium in her diet. On the advice of the woman we bought the chickens from we're going to try calcium tablets with vitamin D to see if that helps. She suggested we mix one into the feed every other day for a week.

There were lots of chickens to choose from:

Here are the two we chose, Bilbo and Frodo - yes, I know Bilbo and Frodo Baggins are male, but hobbits aren't human.

Here is Bilbo the hen. She is a Rhode Island Red Blacktail (i.e. crossed with Light Sussex)

Frodo is the one in the foreground. She's a Black Rock type, but darker than Fudge.
While we were at the farm we saw this handsome Buff Orpington cockerel:

When our chickens were in the cat basket he seemed to take quite an interest in them, walking around and around the basket.


  1. They're lovely Karin, real good looking chickens. Shame about Fudge, have you wormed with Flubenvet? The herbal based wormers in my opinion do not work.

    I've used Orego Stim in the drinking water for bad shells, as you know with ex battery hens they can suffer from this. You can get it from Omlet online. Hopefully the calcium tablets do the trick.

  2. Thank you, Karen. They still look good so far in spite of some serious 'hen-pecking'. We kept them apart for the first week, but now it's eased off a bit we've put them together.

    Thanks for the tips. If the calcium treatment doesn't work we'll try the Orego Stim. If she needed worming wouldn't there be some other indication? We were wondering if we should worm them once the little ones are a bit bigger, but wondered if it was good to do that just in case.

  3. I worm my chickens regularly as a preventative, I use Flubenvet roughly every 6 months, sometimes sooner. Snails and slugs are hosts for worms, readily eaten by chickens it's a constant cycle. Loose droppings, scruffy feathers and poor laying are signs, although sometimes it's not easy to tell.

  4. She lays most days, but the shells are very thin or non-existent. Feathers and droppings seem fine. We'll see how things are this time next week.

  5. Great names! We have a hen named James (my children had naming rights, and my little boy really wanted to call his hen James, undeterred by the fact that she is female...)


I look forward to reading your comments, it's always good to hear encouraging words or relevant hints and tips.